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Disposable card

Premila Kumar, Consumer Council Of Fiji, Ceo
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

We refer to Ilisabeta Camaivuna's letter on "Ticketing cards" in The Fiji Times on 29/01/18.

The council would like to emphasise that there is a need for disposable cards to be available on buses for tourists and those commuters who live in remote areas where they are unable to top-up their eTransport cards.

Furthermore, top-up agents are not open very early in the morning or late in the evenings because of which consumers may face issues with topping up their cards for an early or late travel.

Hence, disposable cards can be used in these instances.

Disposable cards are also needed by consumers who happen to lose their eTransport card or misplace it.

The council would like to emphasise that it is not only bus drivers who carry disposable cards.

Consumers also have the option of buying a disposable card from any Vodafone, Valuefone or Mr Mobile outlets.

As far as purchasing disposable cards in buses is concerned, these cards have been accounted for and the driver will need to acquit at the end of his shift.

The council reiterates that bus operators should ensure drivers are provided with sufficient disposable cards to make travel easy and convenient for consumers.

The bus companies need to be mindful of Regulation 7 A of the Electronic Fare Ticketing (Omnibus) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, which clearly stipulates that "an omnibus operator must ensure that disposable bus cards are available for sale at all times on any omnibus owned by the omnibus operator".

A penalty of $1000 applies if this is not adhered to by the bus operators. A failure to pay the fine on their part will result in a maximum fine of $5000.

Alternatively, Vodafone needs to ensure eTransport card top-ups and disposable cards are easily accessed by consumers.

This would mean revising the opening and closing hours of their outlets instead of the standard 9am to 5pm.

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